Versatile Super-Sensitive Metrology Using Induced Coherence

Nathaniel R. Miller1,2, Sven Ramelow3, and William N. Plick1

1University of Dayton, Department of Physics, Dayton, OH, 45469, United States
2Louisiana State University, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Baton Rouge, LA, 70803, United States
3Faculty of Physics, Humboldt-University Berlin, Berlin 12489, Germany

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We theoretically analyze the phase sensitivity of the Induced-Coherence (Mandel-Type) Interferometer, including the case where the sensitivity is "boosted" into the bright input regime with coherent-light seeding. We find scaling which reaches below the shot noise limit, even when seeding the spatial mode which does not interact with the sample – or when seeding the undetected mode. It is a hybrid of a linear and a non-linear (Yurke-Type) interferometer, and aside from the supersensitivity, is distinguished from other systems by "preferring" an imbalance in the gains of the two non-linearities (with the second gain being optimal at $\textit{low}$ values), and non-monotonic behavior of the sensitivity as a function of the gain of the second non-linearity. Furthermore, the setup allows use of subtracted intensity measurements, instead of direct (additive) or homodyne measurements – a significant practical advantage. Bright, super-sensitive phase estimation of an object with different light fields for interaction and detection is possible, with various potential applications, especially in cases where the sample may be sensitive to light, or is most interesting in frequency domains outside what is easily detected, or when desiring bright-light phase estimation with sensitive/delicate detectors. We use an analysis in terms of general squeezing and discover that super-sensitivity occurs only in this case – that is, the effect is not present with the spontaneous-parametric-down-conversion approximation, which many previous analyses and experiments have focused on.

Quantum interferometry is a crowded field with many new protocols (and variants thereof) proposed. New, practical, potentially-transformative setups are rare. We present what we believe is one such case – where totally-new abilities are added to the quantum interferometry toolkit. The most striking of which is that bright, super-sensitive phase estimation of an object with different light fields for interaction and detection can be achieved with the proposed device.

That is to say, one can not only measure the properties of an object using a light field which has never interacted with that object (which has been known), but also it is possible to use a bright laser to enhance the sensitivity of the device when the laser also has not interacted with the sample. Or, conversely, when the laser does interact with the sample, but does not hit the detectors.

This, along with other practical advantages, means this type of interferometer may be broadly-useful in situations when samples or detectors are very sensitive to light – or when one wishes to measure an object with one frequency domain of light, and use the better detectors from another.

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Cited by

[1] Arturo Rojas-Santana, Gerard J. Machado, Dorilian Lopez-Mago, and Juan P. Torres, "Frequency-correlation requirements on the biphoton wave function in an induced-coherence experiment between separate sources", Physical Review A 102 5, 053711 (2020).

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[3] Chiara Lindner, Jachin Kunz, Simon J. Herr, Sebastian Wolf, Jens Kießling, and Frank Kühnemann, "Nonlinear interferometer for Fourier-transform mid-infrared gas spectroscopy using near-infrared detection", Optics Express 29 3, 4035 (2021).

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